DVD Review: Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, starring John C. Reilly and Chris Massoglia

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[image-1]The movie is about Darren (Chris Massoglia), who leads a very boring, mundane life doing what his parents tell him to do, until a freak show comes to town. Darren sneaks out of his house to see the freak show, which includes a bearded lady, a man with two bellies, a thin man, a lizard guy and, finally, a vampire. The kid is drawn into their world, and ultimately is turned into a vampire by Larten Crepsley, played by John C. Reilly. Once a vampire, he finds himself in the middle of a war between vampires and must learn to become a real vampire or die.

Now, I admit I’m slightly older than Cirque Du Freak's target demo, but that doesn’t mean the movie should be completely boring to me. Sadly, the vampires in this movie are like the Twilight vampires, in that they don't have fangs and spend a lot of time standing around being boring. (At least they don’t sparkle.) Unfortunately, they also don’t have much emotion, or really do anything exciting. Sure, there are some fight scenes, but they seem, much like the rest of the movie, very amateur. John C. Reilly is a great actor, but plays this role so seriously that there's very little recognizable from the John C. Reilly we know. The rest of the cast seems similarly bland, like they didn’t know what they were doing. The end of Cirque Du Freak is completely anti-climactic and clearly setup for another movie (which will probably never come), leaving this movie unable to stand on its own.

The special features, like the rest of the movie, are bland and extremely simple. The deleted scenes are very short and add nothing to the plot, and a behind the scenes featurette entitled "Guide to Becoming a Vampire" includes only superficial interviews with the cast and crew, and never digs deep into the special effects or how they created the fight scenes. The last feature is a tour of the circus village, entitled "Tour Du Freak," which looked really cool, and was kind of a cross between Dr. Seuss and BeetleJuice. The actors that appear are in character, but not much is seen besides a walking tour of the village.

Overall, Cirque Du Freak is a failed attempt to cash in on the Harry Potter crowd — or any crowd for that matter. The movie is boring and the DVD special features are very flat and superficial, leaving me to suggest you avoid this DVD completely.

[Editor's Note: Cirque Du Freak is out on DVD and Blu-ray today.]

In an attempt to cash in on some of that Harry Potter and Twilight money, some Hollywood suit thought it would be smart to mix the two worlds, leading to double the awesome and double the money, right? Well, the product is Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, and in this case, there was no awesome and no money.

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